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The rapid adoption of the open standard RISC-V instruction set architecture (ISA) has focused on the ISA specification and various implementations. The software ecosystem has been an afterthought. This is understandable because the RISC-V ISA is a hardware standard, however, it neglects the fact that software is often the critical path to SoC adoption. Virtual platforms, or software simulation, are one tool that can accelerate software development. While instruction accurate virtual platforms have been available for more than 15 years, use of virtual platforms has become mainstream methodology over the last 5 years. Virtual platforms provide better controllability, observability, repeatability and ease of automation versus other prototyping and development tools, and can be deployed very early in the project. Virtual platforms are particularly helpful for hardware dependent software – software that runs directly on the processor. This includes operating systems, drivers, firmware and importantly AI/ML compilers. This talk will highlight the use of virtual platforms for RISC-V software development, providing examples not only of software development but also of the use of virtual platforms to provide key insights on the design tradeoffs which can be further optimized with custom instructions.
Prior to joining Imperas, Larry ran sales at Averant and Calypto Design Systems. He was vice president of worldwide sales during the run-up to Verisity’s IPO (the top performing IPO of 2001), and afterwards as Verisity solidified its position as the fifth largest EDA company. Before Verisity and SureFire (acquired by Verisity), Larry held positions in sales and marketing for Exemplar Logic and Mentor Graphics. Larry was recently an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Clark University’s Graduate School of Management, where he developed and taught a course on Entrepreneurial Communication and Influence. Larry holds an MBA from Clark University in addition to his MS Applied & Engineering Physics from Cornell University and BA Physics from the University of California Berkeley.
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